What is PVC Vinyl leather?

PVC Vinyl leather is basically nothing more than a PVC plastic with a chemical polymer called plasticizer

mixed in. The plasticizer is the compound which makes the vinyl soft and pliable.

Theoretically, the more plasticizer that a vinyl material contains, the softer and more flexible

it becomes. There are three types of vinyl: Expanded, non-expanded and non-backed. Non-

Expanded Vinyl is used extensively in the manufacture of Furniture Upholstery, Clothing and

accessories. All are commonly used in the manufacture of automobile upholstery and trim.

It is important to determine if the material that you are working with is Vinyl or Leather

since these materials will require the use of different chemicals and techniques. Due to the

differences in make-up, it is not possible to use the same repair and maintenance materials

on both fabrics.


Non-Expanded vinyl is made of a thin layer of solid vinyl approximately 1/32 to 1/16th inch

thick with a cloth backing. There are certain types of this material which are made of two or

more layers laminated together. The backing may be made of one of several types of cloth: a

tightly woven, linen type cloth, a loosely woven, cheesecloth type material, or a long fibrous

“polyfill” material Non-Expanded vinyl’s will be found in seat upholstery, door panels, trim

panels and consoles.


Expanded vinyl is a foam-type material, approximately 1/16th to 1/8th inch thick. A

very thin grain pattern is heat formed only on the very surface of the material. There

is no backing on the material, but the underside of the material is smooth as though it

has been poured onto a flat, smooth surface. Expanded vinyl’s will be found

primarily on door panels, trim panels and consoles in automobiles. Expanded vinyl is

extremely heat sensitive, when heat from the curing tool is applied, expanded vinyl

will quickly melt and retract from itself thus making a small hole larger .


Non-Backed vinyl’s are just as the name implies, no backing what so ever. Non-Backed

vinyl usually contains a lesser amount of plasticizers thus making it less flexible and not as

soft to the touch. It consists of a single layer of vinyl usually glued and heat formed over a

pre formed substrate. This type of vinyl may not be repaired in the conventional manner,

but it is possible to make a permanent, invisible repair . Non-Backed vinyl’s will be found

primarily in automotive applications such as padded dashes, door panels and consoles.

Post time: Jan-25-2018